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    1. Member Bad Rabbit Habit's Avatar
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      A Rabbit with a snail.
      04-10-2019 11:15 PM #1

      So, Radwood is going to ‘Vegas. My Rabbit has been to 5 Radwoods. (The first one, Hooptiecon 2017, SF 2018, LA 2018, Hooptiecon 2019)

      So, taking the Rabbit is boring, even if driving it is never boring. I came across a deal for a MK2 GTI. It was cheap, but had “electrical problems.” Sounds like a great project to get together for a car show 8 hours drive away, and only 17 days away.
      On arrival, the GTI didn’t start with no spark. About to make an offer, opened the oil cap and see the dreaded milkshake of a bad headgasket. Checked the dipstick, the oil was still good in the sump. Managed to make a deal for the GTI for just over half what I was going to offer before I opened the oil cap.

      Once at home, tracked down the electrical problems to a bad ignition switch and a disconnected ground.

      Now starts on the first crank, AC blows cold, and all the gauges appear to work. Ran it down to the local coin op car wash to give it a little wash. Impressions: too low, too slow, and mk2s feel like home.
      At home I pull the dipstick.

      Well, looks like the head is coming off. I already ordered a head gasket and head bolts. Started pulling the head tonight. So far: stripped out intake manifold bolt heads, and seized downpipe bolts. Hopefully WD40 will work it’s magic on the downpipe bolts, otherwise I am going to have to cut the downpipe at cat.
      -Jon
      ig:badrabbithabit Formerly known as: monoaural

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    3. Member
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      04-11-2019 12:39 AM #2
      In for updates! Best of luck to ya!

    4. Member HI SPEED's Avatar
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      04-11-2019 03:06 AM #3
      Gonna drive it as is or do some period correct mods?

    5. Member candy11's Avatar
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      04-11-2019 05:56 AM #4
      Awesome! Good luck!

    6. 04-11-2019 06:23 AM #5
      Are you driving to Vegas?
      We drove one year from Fresno and the car broke down in the Mojave. We had to sit tight till a recovery vehicle arrived.
      Not fun in the middle of the day when the air-con is down.

      We got to Vegas eventually. And refuelled on cheap drinks and cheap steak. All was forgiven, but not forgotten.

    7. Member
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      The NATO garage: 3 British, 2 German, 2 American.
      04-11-2019 07:33 AM #6
      Fun! Nothing like a little time pressure to give your project a boost, Good luck with it!

    8. Member
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      04-11-2019 07:51 AM #7
      Nothing shifts the sale to a buyer's market better than milkshake oil.

      Good luck with the build. Keep us posted. I love these rebuild threads.

    9. Member Bad Rabbit Habit's Avatar
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      A Rabbit with a snail.
      04-11-2019 09:33 AM #8
      Quote Originally Posted by HI SPEED View Post
      Gonna drive it as is or do some period correct mods?
      I am gonna switch the wheels to:

      Otherwise, just clean it up. I did have the Techtonics Tuning website up, looking at a cam, short shifter and a window banner.
      Quote Originally Posted by ED.Jones View Post
      Are you driving to Vegas?
      We drove one year from Fresno and the car broke down in the Mojave. We had to sit tight till a recovery vehicle arrived.
      Not fun in the middle of the day when the air-con is down.

      We got to Vegas eventually. And refuelled on cheap drinks and cheap steak. All was forgiven, but not forgotten.
      Yep, driving. Which makes the whole sevent... wait, now sixteen days a bit more crazy. Thankfully it drove pretty well, so hopefully no extra surprises.
      -Jon
      ig:badrabbithabit Formerly known as: monoaural

    10. I need new ones NeverEnoughCars's Avatar
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      04-11-2019 09:51 AM #9
      Quote Originally Posted by ED.Jones View Post
      We got to Vegas eventually. And refuelled on cheap drinks and cheap steak. All was forgiven, but not forgotten.
      A few more cheap drinks would have fixed the remembering.
      Quote Originally Posted by Turbio! View Post
      Pedantry: winning arguments through exasperation since 1651. An Old World Tradition!
      "Now i am become death the destroyer of worlds."-bhagavad gita
      “Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go.” -T.S. Eliot

    11. Member Crispyfritter's Avatar
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      04-11-2019 10:26 AM #10
      I'm assuming you're going to have the head checked for warping or cracks? It's so hard to get stuff like that done here where I live. I have to drive at least 4 hours to get that done.

      Chris
      | 2017 Elantra | 2018 JLU Sport | 2003 Mercedes S55 AMG | 2001 BMW 740 iL (x2) | 1991 Toronado | 1974 SuperBeetle | 1962 Ford Unibody | The poster formerly known as 200HP4dr

    12. Member Bad Rabbit Habit's Avatar
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      A Rabbit with a snail.
      04-11-2019 10:31 AM #11
      Quote Originally Posted by Crispyfritter View Post
      I'm assuming you're going to have the head checked for warping or cracks? It's so hard to get stuff like that done here where I live. I have to drive at least 4 hours to get that done.

      Chris
      Yah, gonna take it to a machine shop. Fingers crossed the head is good. If not, its swap time.
      -Jon
      ig:badrabbithabit Formerly known as: monoaural

    13. Senior Member LT1M21Stingray's Avatar
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      04-11-2019 10:53 AM #12
      Quote Originally Posted by StressStrain View Post
      Nothing shifts the sale to a buyer's market better than milkshake oil.
      Happened to me once on the old JH motor.


      Quote Originally Posted by Mk1Madness
      Back when making your car faster and better handling was the big thing.
      Quote Originally Posted by Tavarish
      The car's best safety feature includes ejecting you in the moment of impact and wishing you the best of luck.
      Buy my couch!

    14. Member Bad Rabbit Habit's Avatar
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      A Rabbit with a snail.
      04-11-2019 11:13 AM #13
      Quote Originally Posted by LT1M21Stingray View Post
      Happened to me once on the old JH motor.


      Cracked block? Yikes. Though, that’s an excuse to go 2.0 bottom end.
      -Jon
      ig:badrabbithabit Formerly known as: monoaural

    15. Member Meroving1an's Avatar
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      04-11-2019 11:53 AM #14
      Good luck, man. Looking forward to rest of this.

      I wish I didn't live in density jungle and have space for projects like this.

    16. Senior Member UncleJB's Avatar
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      04-11-2019 12:04 PM #15
      In for updates. This is cool.

    17. Member Bad Rabbit Habit's Avatar
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      A Rabbit with a snail.
      04-11-2019 11:13 PM #16
      Quote Originally Posted by Meroving1an View Post
      Good luck, man. Looking forward to rest of this.

      I wish I didn't live in density jungle and have space for projects like this.
      Quote Originally Posted by UncleJB View Post
      In for updates. This is cool.
      Thanks guys!


      So, attacked the head removal tonight. Pulled the valve cover:

      My milkshake brings the head to the machine shop. Also, noticed an interesting color in the coolant passages. Guessing it was headgasket in a can.

      Still wasn’t able to separate the downpipe. I was advised to attempt the downpipe to avoid stripped out/broken studs in the head. The 8v in the MK2s is a counterflow head, so the intake and exhaust are on the same side. Since there was already stripped out intake manifold, access was poor to the exhaust. I pulled off all 8 bolts with no issue besides some skinned knuckles. Pulled the head bolts, head is now free. Or not. Turns out the two inside upper exhaust manifold studs were double nutted. Of course, they were the worst to get to. Spending more time than it took to take off the other eight, I got the final two nuts off.

      Cylinder one looks steam cleaned.

      Is that... JB Weld?

      I am new to machining heads, hopefully there is enough meat to remove the burned through area, and whatever the JB Weld is hiding.


      Bonus shoutout to Knipex pliers. The stripped out intake manifold bolt came super easy once I had decent access. These things I use in my day job, and are well worn, but they still grab super tight.
      -Jon
      ig:badrabbithabit Formerly known as: monoaural

    18. Planters (fasciitis) peanuts. Dang dogg Sold Over Sticker's Avatar
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      04-11-2019 11:33 PM #17
      Nicely done!

      Cold AC huh? Need a driving buddy to Radwood? I'm tempted to run out there as well. I'm sure the boys could always use an extra hand.
      Driving While Awesome Podcast. Give it a listen.
      Quote Originally Posted by Phillie Phanatic
      SoS - please shoot a message when Brendan & His Retarded Sycophants has another gig. I’ll be there, front row.

    19. Member Bad Rabbit Habit's Avatar
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      A Rabbit with a snail.
      04-11-2019 11:54 PM #18
      Quote Originally Posted by Sold Over Sticker View Post
      Nicely done!

      Cold AC huh? Need a driving buddy to Radwood? I'm tempted to run out there as well. I'm sure the boys could always use an extra hand.
      My wife will be riding shotgun, but I would be willing to let the rental car run interference. :wink: The way out is going to be the boring way, I think. It rubs pretty bad with the current wheel setup, but the plan is to run OZs. The tires I have for them are rabbit sized, so it may be a fat car with little tires. Doesn’t quite roll off the tongue like fat guy in a little coat.
      Last edited by Bad Rabbit Habit; 04-12-2019 at 10:34 AM.
      -Jon
      ig:badrabbithabit Formerly known as: monoaural

    20. Moderator silverspeedbuggy's Avatar
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      04-11-2019 11:56 PM #19
      In for updates. Find something for RADwood Detroit.

    21. Planters (fasciitis) peanuts. Dang dogg Sold Over Sticker's Avatar
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      04-12-2019 12:01 AM #20
      Quote Originally Posted by Bad Rabbit Habit View Post
      My wife will be riding shotgun, but I would be willing to let the rental car run interference. :wink: The way out is going to be the boring way, I think. It rubs pretty bad with the current wheel setup, but the plan is to run OZs. The tires I have for them are rabbit sized, so it may be a fat car with little tires. Doesn’t quite roll off the tongue like fat guy in a little coat.
      Oh wifey is coming! Awesome!

      I’ll see who else is rolling out and hop in with someone, or I can set cruise control in the SS and run block for you.
      Driving While Awesome Podcast. Give it a listen.
      Quote Originally Posted by Phillie Phanatic
      SoS - please shoot a message when Brendan & His Retarded Sycophants has another gig. I’ll be there, front row.

    22. Member Bad Rabbit Habit's Avatar
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      A Rabbit with a snail.
      04-12-2019 04:48 PM #21
      Dropped the head off at the machine shop. I got a “maybe” that the head is salvageable. Fingers crossed.
      -Jon
      ig:badrabbithabit Formerly known as: monoaural

    23. Senior Member LT1M21Stingray's Avatar
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      04-12-2019 05:01 PM #22
      Quote Originally Posted by Bad Rabbit Habit View Post
      Dropped the head off at the machine shop. I got a “maybe” that the head is salvageable. Fingers crossed.
      Can't you buy a head at a boneyard?
      Quote Originally Posted by Mk1Madness
      Back when making your car faster and better handling was the big thing.
      Quote Originally Posted by Tavarish
      The car's best safety feature includes ejecting you in the moment of impact and wishing you the best of luck.
      Buy my couch!

    24. Member Bad Rabbit Habit's Avatar
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      A Rabbit with a snail.
      04-12-2019 05:22 PM #23
      Quote Originally Posted by LT1M21Stingray View Post
      Can't you buy a head at a boneyard?
      Mk2's aren't at the yards anymore. Mk3s are barely at the yards. If the head is junk, and I can't find one semi-easily, it is going to get a Smog reffed 1.8t.
      -Jon
      ig:badrabbithabit Formerly known as: monoaural

    25. Member SchnellFowVay's Avatar
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      04-12-2019 05:30 PM #24
      Who all is coming to Radwood Vegas?

      If any TCL regulars will be there, I can make sure that I attend!
      Quote Originally Posted by cockerpunk
      this is due to your inexperience with performance driving . . . you really do have to take a car to a performance driving event, track day, autocross, ice race etc to get a feel for how a car actually performs. and you have to have the knowledge and skill to be able to manipulate the car in such a way as to get it and keep it at the edge.

    26. Planters (fasciitis) peanuts. Dang dogg Sold Over Sticker's Avatar
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      04-12-2019 06:09 PM #25
      Quote Originally Posted by SchnellFowVay View Post
      Who all is coming to Radwood Vegas?

      If any TCL regulars will be there, I can make sure that I attend!
      If I end up out there I'll shoot you a text.
      Driving While Awesome Podcast. Give it a listen.
      Quote Originally Posted by Phillie Phanatic
      SoS - please shoot a message when Brendan & His Retarded Sycophants has another gig. I’ll be there, front row.

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